Christianity and Science. Understanding the conflict (WAR)? Must we choose? A Slick New Packaging of Creationism

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1 and Science Understanding the conflict (WAR)? Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, is a documentary which looks at how scientists who have discussed or written about Intelligent Design (and along the way hinted that there might be problems with Darwin s theories of evolution) have been persecuted. and Science Must we choose? Are Biological Evolutionists really spiritual terrorist? Are Theistic Evolutionists really schizophrenic? Is Intelligent Design really junk science? Are critics of evolution ignorant, stupid, or insane? Does the Bible teach that the universe is only a few thousand years old and that God created it in six 24 hr days? Is evolution a scientific fact or a flawed hypothesis? A Slick New Packaging of Creationism an attempt to replace science with a system of pseudoscience devoted to confirming Biblical narratives. William Benetta Francis Collins One of the greatest tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war. Sam Harris Collins book reveals that a stellar career in science offers no guarantee of a scientific frame of mind. Richard Dawkins To an honest judge, the alleged convergence between religion and science is a shallow, empty, hollow, spin-doctored sham. William Provine (historian of science - Cornell Univ.) Persons who manage to retain religious beliefs while accepting evolutionary biology have to check their brains at the church-house door. Overview - How are we to understand the conflict between science and? 1. Two faiths: David vs. Dawkins 2. Psalm 19:1-2 Empirical reason can point to God. 3. Rom. 1:18-25 Naturalism is an idolatrous faith.

2 1. 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, It is natural & proper for man to observe himself in his environment and seek a rational understanding. We are all called to be both theologians and scientists at heart. We all Assume We all Observe We all Question We all Reason We all Conclude and Science represent overlapping spheres that share a common ground - reason. Reason Science #1 Two postures with respect to truth Reason Inductive, Humble, Objective, Open minded search for truth and wisdom #1 Dogma Deductive, Arrogant, Subjective, Close minded defense of tradition In both Science and In both Science and Reason, Truth, and Objectivity are not unique to science and faith, dogma, and subjectivity are not unique to. A common mistaken perception Science Faith Science Reason Facts Objective Revelation Faith Subjective

3 Respecting the limits of naturalism METHODOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHICAL NATURALISM NATURALISM - how the universe usually works. (Science) The supernatural is not considered. - how the universe exclusively works. (Scientism) The supernatural does not exist. respects this methodology rejects this philosophy When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 3 4 David vs. Dawkins They both observe the same cosmos. 2. They both use reason to understand what they observe. 3. They both make faith assumptions that guide them in their understanding. Dawkins - there is nothing beyond the material world. David - there is a larger reality. 4. They each have distinct advantages. Dawkins - more technical data David - more options for answers. 5. They each come to different understandings. Dawkins - man is on his own and without meaning. David - the glory of both God and man. Faith of (behind) science We believe that God created an orderly world and humans with rational, inquiring minds to understand and care for it. Faith in science (as a naturalistic religion) We do not yet have an adequate natural mechanism to explain the origin of life, but we believe that in time, science will discover such a mechanism within nature. Phillip E. Johnson What it (theistic evolution) does do is imply that Christian theism is intellectually uninteresting and unsupported by evidence. That implication has been quite sufficient to make naturalism the ruling philosophy in the universities. Richard Dawkins The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. Richard Lewontin (Harvard geneticist) We take the side of science in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated stories, because we have an a priori commitment to materialism. Sr. Arthur Keith (anthropologist) The only alternative to some form of evolution is special creation, which is unthinkable. The glory of God and dignity of man More options allow David to follow wherever the data leads. 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

4 The glory of God and dignity of man More data does not help Dawkins if he does not allow himself to follow where it leads. 1. The conflict (war) is not between empirical reason and but between two fundamentalisms (naturalism and religious dogma). God scientism verses religiosity Scientism is science demanding authority outside its domain. Examples of science out of bounds Scientism true science Animals have rights just like humans. Atheism and philosophical materialism Rational search for the most plausible understanding. God does not exist. Miracles are a myth. There is no universal meaning to life. Science can account for the origin of life. Macro evolution is an irrefutable fact Man made global warming is an established scientific fact Religiosity is dogma dictating to science what it can and cannot say. Religiosity Theologians doing science from the Bible. true religion Scripture and reason in search of wisdom and understanding. Examples of religion out of bounds The earth 10,000 years old. All behavior is simply moral choice. Only Christians (my kind of) have the truth. Reason is the enemy of. The Bible is scientifically accurate. The church is the ultimate authority on all knowledge. Donʼt question, just believe.

5 #2 Two scopes of inquiry. 2. Psalm 19:1-2 1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. Empirical reason can point to God. Varieties of science Politics Psychology Sociology Forensics History Origins Paleontology Biology Geology Astronomy Hard science Static - Not sensitive to time 2. CLOSED The best rational explanation of all the evidence. Supernatural answers are possible if the evidence leads there. The best materialistic explanation of all the evidence. Only naturalistic answers are permitted. Hard and Soft science Dynamic - Sensitive to time Forensic or Historical Science Soft science OPEN Experimental Forensic (operation science) (origin science) Present regularities Running the universe Past singularities Beginning of universe Chemistry Physics Science and conflict only when they take a closed vs. open view toward a full understanding of the truth. dogma verses reason Example of a closed system - when science alone claims to answer all the important questions. Defining reality and making decisions as though God did not exist or matter. Total temporality Comprehensive contingency Absolute autonomy Radical relativity Metaphysical materialism Total temporality

6 Example of a closed system - when Christian tradition is arrogant and unreasonable. God said it, I believe it, that settles it. Don t ask too many questions. I don t interpret the Bible I just believe it. Science is the enemy of faith. The Bible is a book of science. 3. Rom. 1:18-25 Naturalism is an idolatrous faith. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.... For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. We are all called to honesty and humility in our truth claims. - Godʼs Revelation is perfect but manʼs reading of it is not. Science - Human observations always come with faith assumptions and are often influenced by personal, economic and political agendas. 3. Science and conflict only when they are driven by something other than the evidence and an open mind. personal or political agenda truth and wisdom The point: The conflict is not between and empirical reason but between two world and life views (faiths) naturalism and Biblical theism. Naturalism Biblical Theism Lee Strobel Charles Thaxton David C. Lindberg

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